Offensive woes follow Cards into series with Mets


St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol knows there is no magic solution to end his team’s season-long offensive slump.

“You’ve got to keep working, bottom line,” Marmol said after St. Louis dropped two of three games to the struggling Chicago White Sox over the weekend. “May not want to hear it, but that’s all we can do, is continue to work, continue to pay attention to the details pregame.

“What they’re doing down … in the cage has to carry out into the game sooner or later. But there is no answer to it other than work.”

The Cardinals, who have lost four of their past five games, will try to break out of their hitting funk when they host the visiting New York Mets on Monday to open a three-game set.

Masyn Winn and Lars Nootbaar hit infield singles on Sunday, snapping 0-for-16 and 0-for-10 slumps, respectively. But the Cardinals mustered just four hits while falling 5-1 to the White Sox, who won a road series for the first time this season.

Nolan Gorman is 1-for-17 in his past six games and Paul Goldschmidt is 0-for-15 in his past four. The Cardinals brought Dylan Carlson back from the 10-day injured list on Sunday, but he went 0-for-3 in his first major league game of 2024.

St. Louis has scored two runs or fewer 11 times this season, and it has scored more than three runs just twice in its past seven games.

“We’ve had months like this before where it doesn’t look very good and then we come out of it,” Marmol said. “We need to come out of it.”

The Cardinals will start right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-2, 3.79 ERA) in the series opener on Monday. Gibson has posted three straight quality starts, most recently giving up one run on four hits in seven innings to earn a win against the Detroit Tigers last Tuesday.

In nine career starts against the Mets, Gibson is 3-3 with a 3.97 ERA.

New York was swept by the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, falling 7-6 in 10 innings on Sunday in the finale of the three-game series.

“Tough loss, tough series obviously,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “Had a lot of opportunities there, we created traffic and just couldn’t get the big hit. … Right now, we’re having a hard time. I like the at-bats to create the traffic, to get on base, but we’re just not getting the big hit.”

Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer against Cardinals pitcher Sonny Gray on April 27, but in eight games since then, he is just 1-for-28 (.036).

“He’s going through it right now; he’s in between right now,” Mendoza said. “He’s chasing and maybe trying to do too much right now. He will continue to fight through it.”

After starting the season 12-8, the Mets have gone 4-10. Left-hander Sean Manaea (1-1, 3.07) will try to help New York get back on track when he takes the mound on Monday.

Manaea allowed one run on three hits and four walks in five innings in his latest start, a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs last Tuesday. The Mets eventually won that game, 4-2.

In one previous appearance against St. Louis, Manaea allowed a solo home run to Tommy Edman in 1 1/3 innings of relief back on April 25, 2023. Manaea was with the San Francisco Giants at the time.

—Field Level Media



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